Watch Ice Palace
- 2 hr 23 min
Ice Palace is a 1960 American drama film directed by Vincent Sherman, based on the novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The film stars Richard Burton, Robert Ryan, and Martha Hyer. Set in the remote Alaskan town of Baranof, the film tells the story of a group of people whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. Burton plays Zeb Kennedy, a handsome and ambitious young man who arrives in Baranof with dreams of building a lucrative fishing industry. He quickly finds himself at odds with the town's other powerful figures, including businessman Thor Storm (Ryan) and the town's corrupt mayor (Jim Backus).
As Zeb struggles to make his vision a reality, he finds himself drawn to Storm's beautiful daughter, Dorothy (Hyer). But their romance is complicated by the fact that Dorothy is engaged to another man, Marc (Ray Danton), a ruthless businessman who is determined to keep Zeb from succeeding.
As tensions rise in Baranof, the town is rocked by a devastating tragedy that forces Zeb, Storm, and Dorothy to confront their own desires, fears, and failings. Along the way, they confront the harsh realities of life in Alaska, where survival depends on strength, cunning, and the ability to outsmart nature itself.
Ice Palace is a classic example of the epic Hollywood drama, with a sweeping story, gorgeous cinematography, and a cast of larger-than-life characters. Burton is magnetic as Zeb, a man driven by ambition and haunted by his past. Ryan is equally compelling as Storm, a powerful figure struggling to hold onto his legacy. Hyer is luminous as Dorothy, a woman torn between duty and desire.
The film also benefits from strong supporting performances by Backus, Danton, and especially Carolyn Jones, who plays a local teacher struggling to bring education to the remote Alaskan town. The film was shot on location in Alaska, with stunning footage of the rugged wilderness and the icy landscape.
The script, by Harry Kleiner, is adapted from Ferber's novel with skill and sensitivity. Although the story features many of the classic tropes of the epic melodrama - romance, betrayal, tragedy - it also explores deeper themes of identity, legacy, and the struggle for self-determination.
At its heart, Ice Palace is a story about the American Dream, and the lengths to which people will go to achieve it. But it is also a story about the cost of that dream, and the toll that it takes on the people who pursue it. As Zeb, Storm, and Dorothy discover, sometimes the greatest challenge is not conquering the elements, but understanding one's own heart.
Overall, Ice Palace is a beautifully crafted film, with strong performances, breathtaking visuals, and a compelling story. It captures the spirit of adventure and ambition that has defined America since its founding, while also exploring the darker, more complex aspects of that same spirit. For anyone who loves epic drama or classic Hollywood filmmaking, Ice Palace is not to be missed.